Who owns your bank or building society?


Updated on 18 February 2019 | 2 Comments

It pays to know exactly who owns the banks and building societies you hold savings with in order to ensure your funds are protected in the event of another financial collapse.

Is your cash on deposit absolutely, guaranteed, 100% safe in British banks?

The answer very much depends on where you keep your nest egg.

Thanks to the near-collapse of some of Britain's biggest banks in 2008, the Government beefed up the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the state-supported safety net for savers.

Now the FSCS guarantees 100% of the first £85,000 of cash savings per person per banking licence (including interest).

Therefore, a couple with up to £170,000 in a joint account has all of this cash covered by the FSCS.

The important words here are 'per banking licence'. You should always spread your cash across different providers.

But this is easier said than done, as a single licence can cover several different banks, building societies or brands.

Don't forget you can earn up to £150 just by switching to another bank: see the top offers

Who owns whom?

To help you work out how safe your cash is we've compiled a list of the biggest British banking and savings providers, showing you who owns whom.

With hundreds of different institutions to choose from, we haven't listed them all here. Instead, we've concentrated on the UK's biggest brands.

Remember, you get only one lot of £85,000 of FSCS protection per person for the total amount you hold across these banking licences.

So let's take a look at who owns each of the bank brands.

1. HBOS

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Birmingham Midshires
  • Halifax
  • Intelligent Finance
  • Saga

2. Lloyds Banking Group

  • Lloyds Bank.

Despite HBOS being acquired by Lloyds Bank, both HBOS and Lloyds Banking Group continue to operate under separate banking licences.

3. TSB

4. Barclays

  • Barclays
  • Standard Life

5. HSBC

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6. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

7. NatWest

8. Ulster Bank

9. Coutts & Co

Please note that RBS subsidiaries NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts all have their own, separate banking licences and are not covered by the RBS licence. So £85,000 with RBS and the same sum with NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts would be covered for four times £85,000 (£340,000) by the FSCS.

10. Santander UK

  • Cahoot
  • Santander

11. The Co-operative Bank

  • Britannia BS
  • Smile
  • The Co-operative Bank

12. Bank of Ireland UK

  • Bank of Ireland UK
  • AA
  • Post Office

13. Clydesdale Bank PLC (CYBG)

  • Clydesdale Bank
  • Yorkshire Bank
  • Virgin Money

14. Sainsbury's Bank

15. Tesco Bank

16. Monzo 

17. Starling Bank

18. Al Rayan Bank

20. Gatehouse Bank 

21. Revolut

Find a better home for your savings with a higher interest rate: compare savings accounts here

Britain's biggest building societies

1. Nationwide BS

  • Cheshire BS
  • Derbyshire BS
  • Dunfermline BS
  • Nationwide BS

2. Yorkshire BS

  • Barnsley BS
  • Chelsea BS
  • Norwich and Peterborough BS
  • Yorkshire BS

3. Coventry BS

  • Coventry BS
  • Stroud and Swindon BS

4. Skipton BS

  • Chesham BS (renamed Skipton BS)
  • Scarborough BS (renamed Skipton BS)
  • Skipton BS

Don't forget you can earn up to £150 just by switching to another bank: see the top offers

Foreign banks and the FSCS

Some European banks accept British savings, but are not covered by the FSCS. Instead, under what's called the 'savings passport' scheme, some banks from the European Economic Area are covered by their home country's compensation scheme for savings.

Well-known examples include:

  • RCI Bank (France - €100,000)
  • Triodos Bank (Netherlands - €100,000)
  • N26 (Germany - €100,000)

However, other banks from around the world with a UK subsidiary are covered by the FSCS £85,000 guarantee. These include:

  • Axis Bank UK;
  • ICICI Bank UK;
  • State Bank of India UK
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs
  • Cynergy Bank (previously Bank of Cyprus)

NS&I

Finally, the Government's own piggy bank, National Savings & Investments (NS&I), isn't actually covered by the FSCS. Instead, it gets the full backing of the Treasury, meaning all your deposits - including those above £85,000 - are fully protected.

Don't forget you can earn up to £150 just by switching to another bank: see the top offers

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